Tuesday, April 30, 2013


iCrew Bike Navigation System is an iPhone accessory that mounts to your bicycle handle bar and turns your iPhone into a cycle computer. It comes with a waterproof and easily detachable case. Its rotating attachment allows horizontal or vertical orientation for viewing preference, and can be moved vertical to ground to record your cycling adventures.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Fifty Shades Of Coffee

If you love coffee, and design, Matthew Waldman's Kickstarter project POTHRA might be of great interest to you. This environmentally conscientious designer came up with a brilliant idea to recycle coffee grounds into unique pots by mixing them with a special resin he formulated. I love how different kinds of coffee react differently with the resin to come out of the mold in amazingly different shades of brown.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

* Howdy Baldy

Today I learned that Mt. Baldy is exactly that - bald!

My heroic hiking friends R & J, and I started our hike up Mt. Baldy at 6100 feet. Inspired by the movie The Way, I recently watched, I wished everyone "Buen Camino!".

We stopped for a brief break at the ski lodge at 8200 feet, to have some light snacks, and to use the facilities. The tiny building surrounding the hole in the ground looked very cute from the outside:

However, inside this little building lurked the worst kind of olfactory violence monster. It crushed your nose, and your whole respiratory system without pity while feeding your visual tract with one of the most spectacular views through its minuscule window:

The climb up Mt. Baldy was steep and slippery with all the loose rock. I had vivid flashbacks to my Inca Trail Hike with every muscle waking up to the familiar pains, and just at those moments  of pain, I felt the cool breeze of the mountain soothe me just like a mother blowing on your scraped knee while dabbing it with iodine to make it better...

We made peak in slightly less than 4hrs. at 10,064 feet! And, of course, celebrated with Cookies and Beer!

It is not hard to see why this mountain is called "Baldy"; there are not enough plants at the top to even accomodate a combover:

We took a different path to get down, and the large stone steps I encountered on the way once again flooded my head (and my knees) with memories from my Inca Trail Hike. Also, I saw my first California snow!

Most of the hike down was fairly comfortable except for two parts where we had to carefully walk through seemingly narrow paths with VERY loose gravel. It felt so treacherous that one wrong move, and you would be the larger rock rolling in a rockslide to the foot of the mountain.

I was incredibly flattered when someone going the opposite way stopped and said to me "This is not your first time on Baldy, is it?". I must've looked like I knew what I was doing. I guess beer helped create that image of confidence. :)

We finally made our way into the Top Of The Notch restaurant and had giant burgers/sandwiches with much needed french fries. Purchased our tickets for the lift, and took the 10 min. ride down to get back to our starting point.

This lift ride was new to me as well. I had been in bigger and enclosed lifts up the Australian Alps but being exposed to open air felt more exhilarating.

Thank you, my dear friends J and R! I learn so much from both of you, and you make every hike so much fun!


Saturday, April 27, 2013

Concrete Retreat

Igor Sirotov's architecture is the perfect recipe with simple ingredients to create complex yet gentle spaces. His formula is a play of delicate balances between the cold concrete and warm wood, neutral spaces and colorful furniture, sharp corners and soft fabrics. He is a master of turning breathtaking views into an extension of the dwellings through walls of glass.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Silence Seems To Matter

I never was a fan of folk music or even folk-sounding music - that is until I heard On And On from Fossil Collective's debut album Tell Where I Lie. This UK band sure does know how to play the heart-strings...

If you have a long drive planned, get this album. You will not be disappointed!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Participatory Journalist

Plimpton! is the biographical documentary about George Plimpton who described himself as a participatory journalist. This very creatively made biography of a man who was an actor, a boxer, a writer, a baseball player, a lover, and many more things in his time, will be out in Los Angeles theaters on June 7th.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Traveler's Pet

If you have a traveler's mind like myself, and are practical, you will appreciate the smart carry-on suitcase Hop! designed by designer Rodrigo Garcia Gonzales from Madrid. This suitcase can be programmed to follow your smartphone via Bluetooth, and you can create a small train of cases if you are traveling in multiples. Your hands will be free to carry your coffee, and passport without any mishaps.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

* Puzzled iPhone

I just received my new iPhone case by Carved - an Elkhart, IN company that makes wooden iPhone and iPad covers. It is immediately apparent when you touch one of their products, how much attention they pay to every detail of what they are making. 

Thank you, Carved, for my beautiful Random Puzzle iPhone case! I love it to pieces... :)

Monday, April 22, 2013

Owners Of Time

I always assumed that the continent of Antarctica would have all the time zones due to its location. Today I learned this was not the case. The time zones in Antarctica are determined by the country that owns a settlement in a given area. If there are no settlements, then the area is charted with Greenwich time.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

* CicLAvia Sunburn

Right now, sitting in the oversized comfy armchair in my cozy living room in the flickering light of my fireplace, sporting a raccoon face that matches some parts of my body that are ten shades redder than other parts and emanating heat, I would not change a single moment of this day doing my first ever CicLAvia with my heroic friend R. (She is a hero because she climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro). We biked up and down the Venice Boulevard that was closed off to motorized traffic for the event for about a total of 20 miles, and experienced one of the most amazing displays of camaraderie among our fellow Californians. Thousands of bikers, runners, skaters, roller bladers, and people just walking of all walks of life, flooded the closed up street with cheerful mirth, and I was exhilarated for being part of it all.

Today, I loved living in L.A. more than ever...

Saturday, April 20, 2013

* I Love My Brain

I did not think buying a bicycle helmet would become an hour long educational session when I walked into the REI store this morning. Boy, was I wrong! The very nice REI associate not only explained to me the differences between different helmets but also fitted me with a funky helmet to make sure that my head will not crack open in case it collides with something harder than it is.
The helmet he convinced me to purchase is a Nutcase - a brand that has the coolest designs. I am ready for my excursion on Venice Boulevard tomorrow, attending CicLAvia!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Reading Glasses For The Blind

A team of students from Florida International University came up with a revolutionary Eyetalk concept that will enable people with visual disabilities to walk into a bookstore or grocery store with a pair of sunglasses that has cameras and an earpiece, and have books, magazines or labels on food cans read to them inh a Stephen Hawking like voice (that is the voice on the prototype).

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Time Reborn

I have always been fascinated by time. I read and watch everything I can find that looks at time through different lenses. On April 23rd, a book by Dr. Lee Smolin - Time Reborn: From the Crisis in Physics to the Future of the Universe will be released, and will immediately be added to my ebook library.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Surfaces And Essences

The fruit of a collaboration between Douglas Hofstadter and Emmanual Sander, is an immaculate book on how our minds think, process, understand, and comprehend information through endless analogies. Surfaces and Essences: Analogy as the Fuel and Fire of Thinking will be released on April 23rd.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Young The Giant

Young The Giant is an indie rock band from Irvine, CA with a smooth and upbeat sound very similar to Keane. Here's their elementary school science experiment video of Cough Syrup from their one and only self titled album:

Monday, April 15, 2013

Sitting On Butterflies

Yet another beautiful example of nature inspiring a designer for an everyday object - Eduardo García Campos's award winning Butterfly Chair has the delicate lines of a Monarch Butterfly. 

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Pencil Carving

Cerkahegyzo is the nickname of a Hungarian artist that uses pencils beyond their intended use to create complex pieces of art.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Wizard Of Light

Physicist Paul Friedlanders' alter ego is a sculptor of light in magnificent proportions. His light installations in many different cities around the world, captivate the imagination of the onlookers and take them to dimensions where string theory and cosmology are visually exposed.

Friday, April 12, 2013

* Itadakimasu

When I asked my brother who came to L.A. for a quick visit at the end his work trip, just to see me, what he would like to eat, he said "Sushi!" even before I finished my question. A quick search on the internets revealed a couple of places in my neighborhood with high ratings. We chose to try Bamboo Izakaya in Santa Monica and were very pleased both with the ambiance and the food. I would definitely recommend their Crispy Rice Spicy Tuna starter.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

* Unexpected Poetry

Has a stranger ever walked up to you, looked deep into your eyes, recited a poem in which every single word felt like a silk ribbon unfolding only for you, lifting your heart to unbearable heights, and then gently lowering it into its crib like a sleeping baby, and left your presence forever as unintrusively as he entered?

This, happened to me today. A beautiful stranger did it to me with one of his own poems:


To be in this moment, right now, right here
All is truly well, there is nothing to fear
I dance in your stillness as I rest in your calm
Gently held by the love in the heart of your palm
Your song is eternal and your word is so true
There is only one love, it could only be you!
The great wisdom you give me to ascend way up high
Makes me thirst for your water as to never run dry
Drinking only from your fountain by your side I will lye
I am but a twinkle in the center of God's eye

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


Gabriele Diamanti's award winning Solar Powered Water Distiller converts polluted and/or ocean water to fresh water using a very simple and energy efficient technique. This very important implement yields about 5 liters of fresh water on a sufficiently hot day, providing many people in developing countries with access to fresh water, and help prevent spread of diseases. I salute this world and environment conscientious human being.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Rain's Aroma

I adore how the air smells after rain, and my scientific mind always wondered what makes it smell so good. A pair of Australian scientists did the research for me back in 1964, and found out that it is the oils secreted by the plants during dry seasons accumulated on surfaces dissolved with the rainwater creating rain's aroma.

Monday, April 8, 2013

30 Days To Mars

The Fusion Powered Rocket being built by the University of Washington researchers and scientists, is expected to defy current feasible speeds, and reduce travel time to Mars down to 30 - 90 days instead of 4 years. 

Sunday, April 7, 2013

* Mimosas By The Bucket

To celebrate my good friend R's birthday, we gathered at Stella Rossa Pizza Bar in Santa Monica ,and had the best time sharing a good selection of pizzas and adult beverages. We did ask for a bucket of Mimosa but they only serve one glass at a time, so we had enough to fill a large bucket. :)
Out of all the pizzas we shared, my favorite was the Butternut Squash one w/o the bacon. It was one of the tastiest and most colorful pizzas I ever had. Definitely a winner!
And the best part is, it is biking distance from my new place!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

A Micro Retreat

Inspired from a mother's womb, Hush by Freyja Sewell is a portable micro retreat for when privacy is needed. This comfortable and cosy human-pod can easily be converted into a more traditional seating resembling a beanbag.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Jal Mahal

Located in the middle of the Man Saga Lake in Jaipur city in India, Jal Mahal (Water Palace) is one of those almost impossible destinations. The architectural beauty of this red sandstone building is attributed to its Rajput and Mughai style with picturesque views of the lake and the surrounding hills. When the lake is full, only the top floor of the five floors is exposed.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Society For The Diffusion Of Useful Knowledge

The Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge existed between 1826 and 1848 as a Whiggish London organization, aiming at publishing information for people who could not afford a formal education or who preferred self-education. This establishment published inexpensive texts that covered scientific and other similar high-minded material for the rapidly expanding reading population. Among those published materials were a series of maps with immaculate detail.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Atomic-Scale Quantum States

According to a study published today that was conducted by scientists at the London Centre for Nanotechnology, an important step has been achieved towards fabricating devices at the single-atom limit. These scientists have coupled single atoms to form quantum states resembling artificial molecular orbitals on silicon by creating interacting single-atom defects.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Master Manipulator Of Mise En Scène

Michel Gondry is an Academy Award winning French filmmaker & screenplay writer, whose higher order creativity comes forth in commercials and music videos he directs. The music video he made for The Chemical Brothers song Star Guitar is one good example to his inventive mind in matching imagery to the music and not the other way around.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Noblesse Oblige

Berlin based Noblesse Oblige is a band with a very 80s pop sound reminiscent of the band Icehouse. IAMX's Chris Corner shot, directed, and edited their new music video for the song Runaway from their forthcoming album Affair Of The Heart. Enjoy!